This winter, we have dipped our toe into organized sports. It is basketball season, and the recreation center at our neighborhood school hosts youth basketball every Tuesday night. My five and six year olds are both old enough to participate this year, so we decided to give it a try. Basketball lasts just forty-five minutes and ostensibly includes a brief practice/instructional time followed by a scrimmage against the (only) other team. It is generous to call this an organized sport, which is precisely why it is perfect for us right now.
My trouble is that, of our children, my two-year old is currently the most inclined towards sports. Show the kid a ball and he wants to kick it, throw it, hit it with a bat, or tuck it under his arm and run headlong into the couch.
So, it was no surprise that on our first night of basketball, my little man piled into the minivan with a ball in his arms. When we arrived early to registration for the older two, the two year old introduced himself to the coach, rummaged through the stack of t-shirts for one that was his size, and ran onto the court with his ball under his arm, ready to practice his skills. When the coach called the participants to sit in a circle, my little man plopped right down too next to his siblings. He proceeded to howl as I carried him out of the circle over to the spectator bleachers. I could barely contain him on the bench during the forty-five minute practice (the baby was completely ignored). I achieved only mild success by encouraging him to “watch and listen to coach” so he would “learn the basketball rules.” He skeptically passed his ball to me once or twice before realizing it wasn’t getting him any closer to playing on the court.